Ouch! Weeks after Prince Philip was hospitalized for hip replacement surgery, the 96-year-old sadly suffered another painful ailment days before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding on May 19: a cracked rib. According to a recent report, Philip slipped and fell while taking a bath just before his grandson’s nuptials.
“The Duke is not a fan of showering and prefers to bathe. But he’s a determined man and nothing was going to stop him attending nor would he take any kind of walking aid,” a source told The Sun. “I take my hat off to him. He is clearly a very resolute gentleman who will not stop doing what he needs to do. Fractured ribs tend to be quite painful. It’s very rare for a fractured rib not to cause pain — even a tiny fracture.”
Philip and the Queen at the May 19 royal wedding.
“Given that he is 96 years old and the operation was just six weeks ago, I think that shows what an extraordinary man he is,” the insider added. “That will have meant a huge amount to Prince Harry. He is enormously fond of his grandfather.”
In the days leading up to Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Buckingham Palace happily confirmed that Philip would attend the big event at Windsor Castle. The news came just after the Duke of Edinburgh was photographed for the first time since his 11-day hospitalization following hip replacement surgery in mid-April.
Philip was spotted driving around the grounds of the annual Windsor Horse Show in southeast England. He made the rare outing to visit his wife, Queen Elizabeth, 92, who was at the show to watch one of her prized horses perform. “He and the Queen spoke for about five minutes. She leaned into the [car’s] window to talk,” an onlooker told People of the royal couple before adding Philip appeared to enjoy being “out and about.”
Philip and the Queen on May 11.
Earlier this month, a palace spokesperson said they “very much” hoped that Philip would be a guest at his grandon’s wedding but a decision would be made closer to the nuptials depending on his recovery. The Prince’s recuperation from his hip operation has also sadly prevented him from meeting his newest great-grandson, Prince Louis, at Kensington Palace.
Last month, Philip was discharged from London’s King Edward VII Hosptial on Friday, April 13. “The Duke will continue his recovery at Windsor,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said at the time. “His Royal Highness would like to convey his appreciation for the messages of good wishes he has received.” One day prior, Philip’s only daughter, Princess Anne, visited her dad in the hospital and told reporters he was “in good form.”
Following his hip surgery, Buckingham Palace confirmed Philip was “in good spirits” and recovering well. “The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a successful hip replacement operation. He is progressing satisfactorily at this early stage. His Royal Highness is likely to remain in hospital for several days. He is comfortable and in good spirits,” the message read.
The palace previously revealed that Philip had been hospitalized on Tuesday, April 3. “His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon, for planned surgery on his hip which will take place tomorrow,” the message explained, according to People. In the days prior, Philip missed the royal family’s Easter services on Sunday, April 1 and skipped a planned outing with his wife on Thursday, March 29. According to Entertainment Tonight, Philip has missed several public outings in recent months because of health issues. Though the palace typically shies away from releasing details about royal family members’ health, a source noted that “Prince Philip has been admitted to the hospital several times in recent years.”
Despite suffering from some health problems — he’s had abdominal surgery, chest infections, surgery to correct carpal tunnel in his left hand, bladder infections, and a blocked coronary artery, just to name a few things — Philip is actually “astonishingly fit for a man of his age,” one of the Queen’s former physicians recently revealed. In fact, most of his major health scares came years ago when the royal was actively participating in sports competitions. He previously developed synovitis, a rheumatic condition of the tendon in the hand, after a polo fall, broke a bone in his ankle, and suffered arthritis in his right wrist during his polo-playing days.
According to The Express, the Duke of Edinburgh leads a relatively healthy lifestyle today at his advanced age of 96. “[He’s] an advocate of healthy eating combined with exercise. He drinks only moderately, takes the stairs rather than [elevators], and still fits into the uniform he wore on his wedding day,” the outlet recently revealed.
Philip and the Queen.
Perhaps the biggest health scare Philip has experienced during his life was a rumored prostate cancer diagnosis back in 2008, however, the palace never confirmed nor denied the rampant reports. “We do not comment on private health matters,” a spokesperson said at the time. Stories about Philip’s possible cancer diagnosis came after the Duke spent three nights in a London hospital to be treated for a chest infection. Since then, the father-of-four has also been photographed wearing hearing aids but the royal family has never officially commented on him experiencing hearing loss.
Overall, Philip has remained exceptionally healthy over the years, especially considering he’s now well into his mid-90s. Though the Queen’s husband officially retired from royal duties in August 2017 after completing 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, the Duke is still expected attend major royal engagements when he can. One such event, of course, was Hary’s wedding to Meghan.
Philip and Harry.
Interestingly, royal expert Kate Nicholl recently told Entertainment Tonight that Harry’s special bond with his grandfather Philip impacted both the timing and the venue of his wedding to Meghan. “He wanted something close to home for the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen. In fact, one of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly — this is really whirlwind by royal standards — is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding. He’s incredibly close to his grandfather and, being 96, Harry thought it was it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit, and healthy,” Nicholl explained.
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